Mailman setup

Jeffrey Goldberg jeffrey at
Fri Apr 13 13:37:41 UTC 2007

On Apr 13, 2007, at 7:17 AM, David Southwell wrote:

>> Thanks very much - very helpful.
>> May I trouble you with two additional questions..
>> 1. File ownership in the /usr/local/mailman hierarchy.. should  
>> that remain
>> in group and owner mailman? All files in my /usr2/virtualwebs/  
>> hierarch are
>> owner & group www.

Yes, those should remain with the mailman owner and group.  You can run


to check that most of these are set up correctly.

This is explained in /usr/local/share/doc/mailman/mailman-install.txt

>> 2. What do I need to do to provide a link to mailman from an existing
>> webpage? I must be missing the obvious I guess..wouldn't be the first
>> time..but  I often find docs do not state stuff that is simple  
>> enough for
>> developers to take for granted.  When writing docs it is difficult  
>> to think
>> like someone who has never seen their stuff (or perhaps anything  
>> like it)
>> before!!!

This is also in the same document.  Once a list is set up, you can  
find its main page at


I do understand that it is tricky to figure out which bits of mailman- 
install.txt you need to pay attention to.  Much of the instructions  
there are already done for you by the ports installation.  But  
setting up mailman for the first time, does require a fair bit of  
work to understand a complicated system (particularly if you are not  
already familiar with mail transport principles, mailing lists in  
general, or Apache configuration).

Also take a look at


You should probably also join the mailman-users mailing list

But of course you should check the FAQs before posting a question to  
that mailing list.

If you feel that it is all a bit much, you can always hire somebody  
the help you set things up initially (ask on the mailman-users  
list).  Once everything is up and running, almost all tasks can be  
performed from the web interface.

> Another query..
> After making the modifications I have had the following apache error:
> [root at dns1 /usr/local/mailman/cgi-bin]# /usr/local/sbin/apachectl  
> restart
> Syntax error on line 26 of /usr/local/etc/apache22/Includes/ 
> virtualhosts.conf:
> Invalid command '\xa0', perhaps misspelled or defined by a module  
> not included
> in the server configuration
> httpd not running, trying to start

What editor did you use to edit the apache configuration file?  It  
looks like it added some non-printing junk to the file.


Jeffrey Goldberg              

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